Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, accidentally revealed that he covers the webcam and mic of his laptop with a tape to protect privacy. If Zuckerberg is taking such steps, should other online users also do the same?
Facebook had over a billion daily active users in March 2016. The company also has about 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. These stats make Zuckerberg one of the most-powerful persons in the tech industry.
Normal people would believe that Zuckerberg would have the best available tools to protect his online privacy. However, in early June, reports emerged that Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts were hacked, which means that one of the most-powerful persons in the tech industry can also be vulnerable to hackers.
Laptop owners do not use the web camera or the mic all the time. However, hackers can compromise a computer system and get unauthorized access to webcam, and the mic can be hacked and accessed without the owner knowing it. A piece of tape could be the best and cheap way of protecting against such breach, and Zuckerberg is not alone in doing so.
"I put a piece of tape over the camera because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera," says James Comey, FBI's director.
"Covering the camera is a very common security measure," says Lysa Myers, a security researcher at the data security firm ESET. "If you were to walk around a security conference, you would have an easier time counting devices that don't have something over the camera."
Covering the webcam and mic is a basic choice to protect privacy. However, here are some valuable tips to protect your personal information from hackers.
Social Media Profile
Many people share a lot of their personal information on social media. More information makes the task of hackers easier. It is recommended to keep limited personal information on social media websites.
Social Security Number
Customers should only share their social security number, even just the last four digits, with authorized companies such as banks, credit bureau and background check agencies.
Locking Of Computer System
Laptop and PC owners should set a password when the machine boots up. It is recommended to set a password even when waking up a machine from sleep mode.
Private browsing is a feature that is available on major browsers that deletes cookies, browsing history and temporary internet files when the browser window is closed. This feature can keep you protected even if someone uses your PC or laptop without permission.
Keeping strong passwords that contain a mix of alphabets, numbers and symbols that are not easy to guess can help web users to protect themselves from phishing attacks.
Online users normally have more than one account that need a password to access the service. It is recommended not to use the same password for two or more accounts.
Some online services such as Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Apple ID and more offer two-factor authentication, which needs a special code — sent to the authorized mobile number — to access information.
This process offers an extra line of protection against hackers.
Photo: Jason McElweenie | Flickr